Student Success Stories: Michael Laidler

Here at The Speaker Lab, our goal is to help you get Booked and Paid to Speak. Our Student Success Stories share first hand experiences from our students of how they’ve booked paid speaking gigs and grown their businesses by applying the concepts they learned in our courses.

Why TSL?

I speak to law enforcement officers on self-awareness and leadership development and I knew if I wanted more consistent bookings I needed a better strategy. Although I had established my speaking business back in 2017, it became more and more prevalent that it wasn’t actually a real business. In 2021 when I signed up for The Speaker Lab I had gone on a bit of a hiatus with my full-time job and all my focus was on working on my speaking business. Coincidentally, The Speaker Lab kept showing up in my email inbox talking about getting booked and paid to speak. I definitely wanted that so, finally, in October of 2021, I was like, you know what? Let me book a call and see how TSL can help me improve my business.

I was confident in my ability to speak. I knew the missing piece was the business systems required to run a successful professional speaking business. After speaking to the Speaker Lab Enrollment Advisor I felt it was a perfect time and a great fit for my needs. I ended up signing up that day on my first strategy call. Then I jumped into the program.

What are some of your A-ha’s and takeaways?

When I came to The Speaker Lab, the coaches really emphasized discovering your target audience. This was a strong focus. I learned the importance of honing in on my target audience and understanding how I serve them and the problem I solve for them. It made perfect sense!

We can’t speak to everyone and so picking a specific niche that has a specific problem to solve is critical to booking paid gigs. I never thought about it but think about when you’re emailing cold leads who don’t know who you are. When they can see, that you are the solution to a problem that they’re trying to solve it’s a much easier yes. Compared to if you’re just emailing all the people, trying to do all the things, it’s really going to be hard to have something connect.

Another takeaway was understanding the marketing strategy needed in order to help build relationships. As speakers, we have to remember our business starts with people. Our focus needs to be on building relationships and understanding the needs of your target market so that we are emailing the right people. It’s a strategic game of relationships and numbers.

This alone really changed everything about my business to the point where I have at least half of my leads left in the program that I’m not even touching right now because I have another 10 speaking engagements lined up. I basically don’t have enough time to add more speaking gigs right now.

Another A-ha for me was when Erick Rheam in one of our very first Virtual VIP sessions said there are 1500 conferences a day. 1500 A DAY! That means there’s at least one speaker at every conference. So, 1500 people are speaking per day.  As soon as he said that, I was like, there’s no reason why I can’t stay in my one industry and really make an impact.

What is your new normal as a professional speaker?

Well, my normal back in October of 2021 was zero speaking engagements and that is not from a lack of trying. When I started my business in 2017 I probably spoke give or take 10 to 15 times that year. However, I was only paid for one of them.

Then in 2019, I only had one speaking engagement, which was paid.  But in all of 2020 and all of 2021, there were no paid speaking engagements.

Fast forward to 2022 post The Speaker Lab and 11 out of my 12 booked gigs are paid. The one does have travel reimbursement. All by using the methods The Speaker Lab teaches.

For the conference I’m speaking at in two weeks, I originally reached out to the event coordinator back in November of 2021 and we exchanged emails. I had a phone call with her and then she ghosted me for four months. So, I went through all the emails I learned in the program, and finally, in April I sent her the last email, the one Grant shares about “The balls in your court”.  All of a sudden I got an email from her assistant the next day, specifically asking me to speak at their event.

Something Erick talked about too, was the concept of going through the backdoor when it comes to getting to event planners versus going through the front door. You see the front door probably won’t yield you a paying gig. However, going through the backdoor and talking to people behind the scenes is always more effective. You have to be diligent and you have to work the program exactly as designed. This stuff works!

Who would you recommend to The Speaker Lab?

I went through the Virtual Vip with Erick Rheam and I have to say, if you are looking for support along the entire journey, run, don’t walk to sign up. Erick is one of the most reachable people I’ve ever met given what he does on a daily basis. The fact that he started his full-time speaking journey just about five or six years ago also makes him very relatable.

I do recommend anybody who knows they want to speak and values their time and money to join The Speaker Lab. If you sign up for Virtual VIP you also get the main course Booked and Paid To Speak Elite and I promise you, you will get quicker results. You’ll save time and make more money.

The investment in the Virtual VIP is well worth it. With the extra money I spent, I’ve already tripled my ROI.

Want to know exactly what to say to finally land paid speaking gigs?

We’ll send you the exact three emails you can send to conference planners and event organizers that lead to Grant Baldwin (our founder) booking over $2M in speaking gigs. 

Practical Advice and Strategies for Building Your Speaking Business

Training, case studies, and our best tips and tricks to help you find and book more paid speaking gigs than ever before.

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